Got Pop’s On The Dock acoustic concert series will be a showcase of Ladysmith talent later this month when three Ladysmith artists will be featured.
David Bitonti, Skellig, and Kendall Patrick and the Headless Bettys will be performing at The Dinghy Dock Pub on Protection Island Wednesday, Dec. 18, starting at 7 p.m.
Andrew Roberts of Got Pop had sent out a post encouraging artists to get in touch if they were interested in playing upcoming dates at The Dinghy Dock Pub, and Bitonti remembers that he said he’d play, and Skellig said they’d play as well. That sparked the idea of coming up with a Ladysmith On The Dock night, and Bitonti approached Roberts about the possibility of an all-Ladysmith show.
“I love Skellig and I love the Bettys, and I just thought it would be really fun,” said Bitonti. “There are so many good people in Ladysmith. I thought it was pretty cool. I was glad I was kind of the squeaky wheel. Andrew was down with it.”
Bitonti will be sharing some new songs with the audience during the performance.
“I have some new songs and feel like I’m getting better at that performance side,” he said. “I might have a surprise guest vocalist on one track — there’s a very strong possibility, which I’m looking forward to. Other than that, it’s me and a guitar, playing songs that should probably be played by a rock band.”
While Bitonti has been writing a lot and working on his solo music as well as other projects, he doesn’t perform often, so nights like this are not too common.
“I write and record my stuff and play a lot, but I’m not booking tons of shows just because I’m trying to do it more for fun, more for the love of it than turning it into a business,” he said. “I’m not taking it too seriously, but I take my songwriting seriously.”
Besides playing solo shows once in a while, Bitonti is involved in many other projects.
Right now, he is playing bass for the Dead Byrds with Stephanie Humphreys, Dylan Wickham, Will O’Shaughnessy and Caleb Burness.
“It’s cool because I can just sort of stand at the side of the stage and be faceless; I feel like there’s no pressure on me — I can just play for the fun of it,” said Bitonti.
His old band Smart Bomb with Mike Sumpter, Jason Barber and Matt Henn has also reunited for two shows in December (Dec. 13 at the Cambie and Dec. 20 at the Sportsman Pub).
“We had taken quite a big break,” he said. “We all started hanging out again, and we thought why don’t we just give’r.”
He’s also started playing with Rhiannon Evans in a project he says they might call Status Reject, and he hopes they’ll start performing in the new year.
As well, Bitonti is playing bass in a cover band with Mike Sumpter, Brooks Jamison and Kyle Rainone.
“That band’s going to be really fun,” he said.
Kendall Patrick and the Headless Bettys, who just returned from showcasing at Indie Week Canada in Toronto, are Kendall Patrick, Lena Birtwistle, Brent Chauvin, Brendan Holm and Caleb Burness. Playing original songs by Patrick and Birtwistle, as well as select cover songs, their music is described as a mix of folk, pop, rock and singer-songwriter genres.
Skellig is Chris Burness, Lisa Burness, Caleb Burness, Mike O’Shaughnessy, Will O’Shaughnessy and Dylan Wickham. They play original Celtic rock influenced by Irish folk, Led Zeppelin, U2 and Muse, and they were nominated for Live Act of the Year at the 2013 Vancouver Island Music Awards.
Tickets for Ladysmith On The Dock are $20, which includes the round-trip ferry fare, and they are available from the artists, at The Dinghy Dock Pub and online.